Mangalore Port Trust plans big to promote cruise tourism

Published on : Wednesday, September 11, 2019

MANGALURU: In a bid to give greater thrust to cruise tourism New Mangalore Port Trust has drawn up a major plan to go in for an exclusive gate for movement of tourists at the port.


The new gate – the fourth one at the port – with dedicated entry and approach road – will cater to entry and exit of tourists who come on board cruisers, said Venkata Ramana Akkaraju, chairman, NMPT.


The port incidentally has three entry or exit gates as of now, and the fourth one, to be ready in the next two to three years, will be connected by a separate road for tourist vehicles, which will take and drop back tourists arriving by ships. This will ensure there is no interference to their schedule from regular traffic inside the port, and tourists can go about their business including sightseeing without any hassles during their stay here, he said.


To tap the potential of nearby places of tourist interest, Akkaraju said he has suggested the idea to the district administration to start helicopter services for tourists arriving by cruise ships to visit pilgrimage centres in and around Mangaluru. Such a facility will enable tourists to visit places such as Kukke Subrahmanya, Sri Mookambika Temple at Kollur and Sringeri Sharada Peetham and return to the city by evening, before the cruise ship departs.


Cruise vessels visiting the port are day liners wherein the vessels come in the morning and leave at night for their next port of call. If somebody starts a helicopter service during the cruise season, passengers can be taken from the helipad in the city for a quick visit to important places that have helipads, he said.


Stating that he has broached the issue with the district administration, he said there has been a positive response to the same from the authorities.


On the number of cruise tourists visiting the city, Akkaraju admitted that compared to Kochi, the port received less number of tourists. Kochi has good international flight connectivity and this allows the port in Kerala to attract more cruise tourists compared to New Mangalore Port.


“During the last cruise season, we had 26 cruise vessels with 29,372 passengers. We hope to get the same number of cruise vessels this year as well,” he noted.

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